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ERIC Number: ED418800
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Mar-31
Pages: 95
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Head Start Programs: Participant Characteristics, Services, and Funding. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
In preparation for the reauthorization of Head Start, this study examined the number and characteristics of participants served, the services provided and the way they were delivered, federal and nonfederal program dollars received and spent by programs delivered by Head Start, and other programs providing similar early childhood services. The methodology involved surveys of all Head Start programs, telephone interviews, and visits to a number of programs. Findings indicated that Head Start served about 782,000 disadvantaged children and 711,000 families in 1996-97. Most children were 4-year-olds and spoke English as their main language. Through Head Start, children had access to educational, medical and dental care, social, and nutrition services. Families had access to social, job, and literacy services. Head Start often referred and linked children and families to needed services. Head Start services were typically provided in centers operating part of the day about 9 months a year. Most programs secured funding through multiple sources. The average amount of Head Start grant funds per child was $4,637, with an additional $549 per child from other funds. The largest portion of programs' overall income was spent on educational services, with personnel-related costs being the largest expense. Most programs reported that state-funded preschools, other preschools, child development centers, child care centers, and family day care homes operated in the same communities as Head Start programs. Some of these programs served disadvantaged children and sometimes helped families obtain additional services. Five appendices include descriptions of the study objectives, scope and methodology, and the surveys used. (KB)
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013; phone: 202-512-6000; fax: 202-512-6061; World Wide Web:; e-mail: (First copy free; additional copies, $2 each).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.